Christopher Robin is a window back in time to our childhoods and a reflection of who we are today. This film is neatly tucked in to the live-action wave that Disney is embarking on with many of their classic films. However, this film is different because, although the subject matter of the movie is based on childhood stories, it instead deals with the time after the initial excitement takes place.
We meet Christopher as an adult who is in a spot in his life which with I believe many of us can relate. He is overworked, stressed and probably wishing he had more hours in a day to deal with it all. But that’s not all, the audience can sense that he has lost something over time.
When I first heard that Marc Forster was going to direct this film I wondered how it could play out. The first movie that automatically comes to mind when I think about this director is World War Z closely followed by Quantum of Solace, so I was curious about how he would interpret the world of Winnie the Pooh. It was only after watching the movie that I understood how his perspective made the film more personal to an adult audience.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Marc Forster said that he wanted to make this film for everyone, not just the young audiences but after watching it I think that his work veers a tad bit more towards adults than children. This is not because I believe the themes will go over the heads of children, but rather the story itself feels like it’s directed towards an older audience. Although Pooh and his friends are adorable and there are sections of the film that children will appreciate, the majority seems aimed at adults.
One of my reasons I formulated this opinion came from my own experience in watching this film. I caught an early screening which was attended by families and quite a few children— there was even a row of children sitting behind me. The kids chatted and were generally animated through the previews but I didn’t really hear them laugh or make many sounds throughout the movie. In fact, as I watched the movie I heard the reactions of adults and the rustling of popcorn more than children laughing or moving about.
Although I feel the age bracket is a little higher than I first thought it was going to be, due respect should be attributed to the actors and the crew that were behind this undertaking. As I watched the stuffed animals move on the screen all I could think about was the amazing attention to detail the crew had in order to ensure that stains were consistent in scenes and that the fluffy characters moved fluidly.
In regards to acting I once again became impressed in Ewan McGregor’s ability to be such a versatile actor. His role as Christopher Robin loos very natural on screen. Another notable mention is of course the voice of the honey-loving bear. Even though he was not the first voice of Winnie the Pooh, Jim Cummings has had roles as this character since the late 80’s. I grew up with his voice muttering “oh bothers” and it’s nice to hear him once again in the movie both as Pooh and Tigger. Finally, Hayley Atwell and Bronte Carmichael really tie the bow around this movie. They’re lively and really connect with audiences in seconds.
Overall this film is full of nostalgia and gives audiences a push to change for the better, and remember the small things in life that give them joy. Don’t be surprised if this film leaves you a bit misty eyed.